(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "A search in secret Egypt"

KARNAK DAYS                           211
sphinxs; which were once set up all the way fiom Luxor to Karnak, but now mostly lie buried in the wayside fields. Hundreds must originally have been erected on both sides of the three-mile road.
The magnificent twenty-yard-long entrance pylon made an attractive sight.                                   *
In the pylon form, with its tall, sloping sides and curved, overhanging architrave, architecture found a handsome and powerful expression. On the front was the carven relief portrait of the Ptolemy who had built it, exhibiting him in the act of making a sacrificial offering before the Theban gods; while four vertical, socket-footed grooves, which run the whole height of the mighty portal, indicated where wooden flagstaffs had once been fixed, to fly gay-coloured bunting on the days of temple festivals, and to ward off evil influences.
Passing inside, I found myself in the open court of the temple of hawk-headed Khonsu; that god who, in popular uninitiated parlance, was the son of Amen. The broken stumps of a double colonnade occupied the centre. The walls depicted a sacred procession of boats floating up the Nile to Luxor, and carrying the image of Amen-Ra. I penetrated into the ruined sanctuary where once was kept the sacred temple-boat of Khonsu. All the mummery that was practised within these walls meant much to the people, to the priests- who sought power, and especially to the longs themselves. But it meant little to the initiated few who witnessed rite and ceremony as mere symbol and token, not as manifestations of reality.
And, next, I discovered a series of interesting low-reliefs, each in a separate border, upon the east wall of an inner chamber adjoining the sanctuary. The thing that caught my eye in the first place was a carving of my friend of the long-drawn winter night's meditation—the Sphinxl
I at once realized that I had alighted upon something important, because one might go for days without detecting the Sphinx upon a wall or pillar carving.
The first panel showed the Pharaoh Rameses IV in the presence of the goddess Ament, to whom he was offering a statuette. The latter had a flat base and supported two figures. In front squatted a child; none other than Horus, the son of Osiris. There was a large lock of hair on the side of his head: he was crowned with tie symbolic sun and serpent; his left hand rested on his knee, but his rieht hand was raised to his